7 Ways To Tell If You're A Spark-Chaser Or A Long-Burner In Relationships

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Everyone has a different approach to finding love. But when it comes down to it, experts say you either fall into one of two categories: a spark-chaser or a long-burner. Which one are you?

"As a professional matchmaker I know that a spark-chaser is someone who, simply put, chooses lust over love," Sherri Murphy, president and founder of Elite Connections International, tells Bustle. "The internet has an abundance of spark-chasers."

Spark-chasers are all about the new and exciting. They're in love with the idea of being in love. Everything is sexy and exciting at the beginning. They "chase the butterflies and magic" that come with new relationships. But when those sparks inevitably fade, they're on to the next.

Long-burners, on the other hand tend to take things very slow. They're the types who will want to build a solid foundation of friendship before taking things to the next level. "They know chemistry is a slow burn and takes times to develop, and they know that attraction is something else," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. "They realize attraction grows when you have chemistry and that you don't always have true chemistry with someone that you are first attracted to." In short, they're in it for the long haul.

Clearly, spark-chasers and long-burners approach love differently. Depending on which one you are, these key differences will affect your love life in different ways. Here are some things that are likely to happen when you're a spark-chaser vs. a long-burner.


Spark-Chasers Go On More First Dates

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When you're a spark-chaser, chemistry is everything. According to Trombetti, you tend to know whether or not you have that special something with someone within the first few minutes of meeting them. Because of this, you barely go on second dates.


Long-Burners Are More Likely To Be Serial Monogamists

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Long-burners find satisfaction in building something that lasts. Because of this, Trombetti says, you're more likely to be a serial monogamist. "Usually you'll find the right one you can settle into life with and they'll be a great partner," she says. "While you love being attracted to someone as well, you give it time and are more realistic."


Spark-Chasers Have More "Relationships"

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"Spark chasers are likely to have a trail of incessant short stints and relationships," Trombetti says. More often than not, these "relationships" will leave you unfulfilled and wanting more. You may not realize that you're "addicted" to the spark. Because of this, you'll pick out little things that are wrong with the partners you have.


Long-Burners Tend To Be More Loyal

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Long-burners are all about commitment. According to psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, PhD, CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife, they tend to show loyalty in all areas of their life from romantic relationships to friendships to jobs.


Spark-Chasers Really Make The Most Out Of The Honeymoon Phase

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Spark-chasers are less likely to have long-lasting, deep relationships. However, they definitely make the most of the honeymoon phase. "When they're in the midst of the honeymoon phase, they will often love passionately, and sometimes obsessively," Mackenzie Riel, relationship expert with TooTimid, tells Bustle. A lot of spark chasers will also be quick to advertise and socialize their relationships. According to her, they like the feeling of having someone new and exciting come along. They like showing them off.


Long-Burners Are More Likely To Fall Into Relationship Ruts

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Long-burners are able to commit and stay present with something in the long-term. "The good thing about this is that relationships will last after the excitement of the newness is gone," Latimer says. "The downside is that they may accept falling into a rut and not necessarily recognizing the importance of keeping the newness present in a long-term relationship."


Long-Burners Are More Likely To Stay In A Relationship Past Its Expiration Date

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Because long-burners are loyal, they will stick with a situation long after it's over. "The long-burner may not see lulls in a relationship as negative, while the spark chaser will probably begin to show less and less affection towards their partner with time," Riel says. Spark-chasers are less likely to settle for less than they deserve.

Is one better than the other? Not necessarily. Both approaches to love have their share of pros and cons. Knowing which one you are can help you get clear on what you need in order to be happy in a relationship.